FAMILY AFFAIR. One Tucson family's struggle to conquer war, diversity, love, death and prejudice hits center stage when the Catalina Players present Claudia's Family, by Julieta Gonzáles.
Set in the tumultuous aftermath of World War II, the drama details a Mexican-American family's tough adjustment to changing times. Their efforts are complicated by one son who returns from battle with a German bride, by relatives and friends lost, killed or injured, and by romances broken. Gonzáles says her play "speaks to the humanity of finding one's true love in war, and adjusting to the reality of returning home."
Show time is 7:30 p.m., with a dinner theater at 6 p.m., in Fellowship Hall, 2700 E. Speedway. Performances continue Friday and Saturday, through October 23. Tickets are $17.50 for the dinner theater, $10 for the performance only, and available by calling 721-9640.
TONY IN TOWN. Six-time Tony Award-winner Chicago, a.k.a. The Drop-Dead Broadway Musical, brings Windy City intrigue to Tucson.
Created in 1975 by legendary choreographer-director Bob Fosse, Chicago features a score by the likewise award-winning team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, and includes such classics as "Razzle Dazzle" and "All That Jazz."
Drawn from the 1926 Maurine Watkins play, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, a pair of women who have killed the men in their lives. Now they're planning on using their notoriety and celebrity to literally get away with murder, in what The New York Times calls "a musical for the ages...the sexiest, most sophisticated dancing seen on Broadway in years."
Show time is 8 p.m. in UA Centennial Hall, inside the main gate east of Park Avenue. Performances continue at 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $36 to $48, and are available at the Centennial Hall box office, or by calling 621-3341.
RUMI-NATIONS. Orts Theatre of Dance captures the philosophy of a legendary Sufi poet in Rapture Rumi.
Born in Balkhk, Afghanistan, in 1207 to a family of theologians, Rumi and his family traveled throughout the Muslim lands -- including a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1216 -- before settling in Turkey, where he succeeded his father as a professor in religious sciences. His poetry is suffused with the Sufi belief in a perceived reality versus a true reality. In other words, the world we see is an illusion that can be pierced by mystics and seekers.
Orts explores this notion with an evening of aerial dance, featuring original music infused with Rumi's poetry. Highlighted by period costumes, the work creates 11 interconnected scenes of the poet's life and times.
Show time is 8 p.m. in the PCC Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Performances continue at 8 p.m. tomorrow, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Advance tickets are $10, $8 for seniors, and available at Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, Antigone Books, Silverbell Trading, the PCC Center for Fine Arts box office, or by calling 624-3799. Tickets are $2 more at the door.
OPERATIC HIGH. Drama hits a high note when the Arizona Opera performs Puccini's Turandot.
Regarded as the Italian's most ambitious work, this fairy-tale production features a large cast, exotic settings, and the powerful aria "Nessum Dora." All create the sense of ancient China, recreated through more than 60 Asian motif backdrops, along with 10-feet-tall courtiers and an "astonishing" ice princess.
The performance marks the Arizona Opera debut of sopranos Frances Ginzer and Mary Jane Johnson in the title role of Turandot.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $19 to $69, and are available at Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 321-1000.
PRONOUNCED SILENCE. The stellar photojournalist team of Charles Bowden and Jack Dykinga highlight the serene outback with their Sonoran Desert National Park Medicine Show.
Hosted by the Southwest Center, this discussion will focus on the envisioned union of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range. Located in the beautiful badlands southwest of Tucson, the area is among the richest remaining wilderness areas in North America. Efforts to combine the region into a single entity would wrest it from competing federal agencies, and protect an unparalleled natural jewel for coming generations. The talk will also include a raffle for a print by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Dykinga.
The event is 7:30 p.m. in the UMC Duval Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Tickets are $5, and available at the Summit Hut. Call 621-2484 for details.
HEAL THYSELF. Escape the modern realities of gridlock and workaday grinds with a special ritual at Tucson's birthplace, the base of "A" Mountain.
Known to the Tohono O'odham as Chuck-son ("Black Bottom Basin"), Native Americans consider it the place where "the Sacred Mother Earth, with all its living plants and animals, came to meet the waters of the Santa Cruz River." Hosted by the Pima County Interfaith Council, today's Spiritual Healing and Purification Ceremony and Mass will focus attention on the proposed future site of the "Rancho Chuk-son of Arizona" Multi-Cultural Family Educational Center.
As envisioned, the center would focus on the contributions of Native Americans to our rich regional culture, and the importance of investing in our families.
The procession will depart from several PCIC affiliated churches throughout Tucson. Meeting time is 7 a.m. For church locations and other information, call 908-0151 or 295-9363.
DOWN BY THE RIVER. Friends of the Santa Cruz River combine contemporary and ancient appreciation of the waterway with Anza Days.
The Friends have maintained and promoted the timeless river trail, long a source of life-sustaining water and a pathway through New World territories. Today they celebrate its heritage when Juan Bautista de Anza (as played by costumed Don Garate, an interpretive specialist with Tumacacori National Park) brings to life the importance of the Santa Cruz River to Spanish Colonialists. De Anza led Spanish settlers along its banks en route to San Francisco in 1775-76.
The Santa Cruz River Cabalgata horse back riders will also share their latter-day experiences along the binational river, and there'll be great chow from the Rex Ranch, Spanish music and mucho storytelling.
The benefit gala runs from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Rex Ranch, on the outskirts of Amado, 45 minutes south of Tucson on I-19. Admission is $20 per person, or $35 per couple, and reservations are requested. For reservations, directions and other information, call 398-9093.
STRENGTH IN MELODY. Named Musician of the Year by The Boston Globe, chamber pianist Stephen Drury has taken his talent coast-to-coast. Now he arrives in Tucson for a performance hosted by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.
Drury's talent has been called "scintillating, honest, stunningly fresh and spontaneous, sensitive, highly intelligent with fire in his soul." That's quite a mouthful for this player, who will perform Schumann's romantic "Kreisleriana." He'll also tackle Frederic Rzewski's "The People United Will Never Be Defeated," which includes 36 variations on an anti-totalitarian anthem by exiled Chilean composer Sergio Ortega. Played without interruption, these variations are said to transform raw political emotion into pianistic brilliance.
Both composers will be on hand for the performance, which begins with an hour-long introductory talk at 2 p.m. in the TCC Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $10, $5 for students, and available by calling 577-3769.
MIAMI MELEE. Author Carolina Garcia-Aguilera marks the return of Cuban-American gumshoe Lupe Solano County with a book signing.
In Miracle in Paradise, the fourth installment of a series which has won fans both for its compelling heroine and for incisive portrayals of Miami's vibrant Cuban community, County attempts to determine the authenticity of a miracle predicted by an order of Miami nuns. The story rings authentic with every step: before taking up the pen, Garcia-Aguilera was a real-life detective.
The signing runs from 4 to 6 p.m. in Clues Unlimited, 16 Broadway Village, at Broadway and Country Club Road. Call 326-8533 for information.
WINDY CITY. Under the direction of Gregg Hanson, the UA Faculty Ensemble blows its heart out for an evening of classical and popular music.
Tonight, the group will perform a wide-ranging repertoire, including Stravinki's "Octet"; "Fanfare for Kennedy Center 1995" and "Rocky Point Holiday" by Ron Nelson; Bach's "Fantasia in G Major"; Norman Dello Joio's "Variants on a Medieval Tune"; and "Theatre Music" by Philip Sparke.
For his part, in addition to being the UA Director of Bands and a music professor, Hanson is a guest conductor for several university and high-school bands throughout the United States and Europe. He's also conducted for the Air Force and Coast Guard Bands, the Mannheim Steamroller Electronic Fantasy Tour, and the College Band and Symphony Orchestra at Disney World.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. in UA Crowder Hall, on the south end of the pedestrian underpass at Speedway and Park Avenue. Tickets range from $5 to $10, and are available at the door, or by calling 621-2998.
BIG PICTURE. Get this: working with nature, rather than against it, can get you on the common-sense path to creating food forests, lowering utility bills and building healthier communities.
So how do you get there from here? In a word -- permaculture. Yep, permaculture is a growing movement sparked by folks who savor efficient, sustainable systems in and around their own homes, from the plants they put in the ground to the rainwater systems erected on their roofs. The aim is lowering the impact we have on this ol' planet, and living more in tune with the natural forces that, after all, still run the show.
Learn more about this concept by attending a permaculture breakfast, held the second Tuesday of each month. Today's breakfast starts at 7 a.m. at Grill, 100 E. Congress St. For information, call 572-1672.
LONG REINS. The Tucson Museum of Art celebrates the long reign of Western artist Roy Andersen with a sweeping new exhibit.
For more than 30 years, Andersen has painted covers for Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. In the past 15 years, he's created more than a dozen U.S. postage stamps, and his series on dogs and American horses won consecutive Stamp of the Year Awards in 1984 and 1985. He's also created murals for the National Park Service, and two for the royal Saudi Arabian Naval Headquarters.
In 1989, Andersen was finally named the newest member of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America, and the following year his painting We Hunt Them won the CAA's coveted Gold Medal in oils. Now Andersen is being honored by the TMA, in this display highlighting his famous paintings of Native Americans. The show concludes with a dinner dance at the Arizona Inn on October 30. For dinner information, call 298-7770.
The Roy Andersen exhibit runs through November 7 in the TMA, 140 N. Main Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2, $1 for seniors and students, and free for children under age 12. Call 624-2333 for details.